What is ESOS?
The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a new mandatory government scheme which affects up to 10,000 UK organisations. The scheme has been designed to increase industry’s awareness of energy consumption to make it easier for businesses to take action, to lower their energy bills and lower the rate of carbon emissions across the UK. The ethos behind the scheme is that reducing your energy consumption goes hand in hand with saving you money, so that the costs of the ESOS audit itself are more than paid back, if the identified energy saving measures are implemented.
What are the key dates for compliance?
ESOS will operate in four-yearly compliance phases. Organisations in the UK must assess whether or not they are required to participate in ESOS on the qualification date of each phase. The qualification date for the first phase was 31st December 2014.
Who does ESOS apply to?
ESOS will apply to your company if: it has more than 250 employees or an annual turnover exceeding €50m and a balance sheet exceeding €43m. For UK incorporate groups, if any part of the group qualifies for ESOS, then the whole group must comply,
ESOS phase timings?
Do I qualify?
Only undertakings and groups of undertakings can qualify for ESOS. An undertaking is defined as ‘(a) a body corporate or partnership, or (b) an unincorporated association carrying on a trade or business, with or without a view to profit’. As such, the scheme covers, but is not limited to, the following types of organisations in the UK:
- limited companies;
- public companies;
- unincorporated associations; and
- not-for-profit bodies (where engaged in a trade or business – see the DECC ESOS Guide, September 2014, for further details).
What do I need to do?
Your first and most important action is to find out whether your business needs to comply with ESOS. If the answer is yes, then you should contact an ESOS Consultant as soon as possible to plan your first audit as this must be completed by 5th December 2015 and could take several months to pull together. Further ESOS audits will take place every four years from 2015 onwards. An approved ESOS Lead Assessor is responsible for working with you and the key parties in your organisation to identify opportunities to reduce energy costs and target energy waste, detailing those opportunities in your ESOS Report before the 5th December 2015 deadline.
The audit will involve looking at how your business uses energy, including how energy is used in buildings, transport and industrial operations based on an analysis of energy data and site survey evidence.